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Long days and warm nights mean it’s time to fire up the Weber. Turn your backyard BBQ into a moveable feast with tips from these North Shore grill masters. By Ann and David Kasabian Photographs by Carl Tremblay Food Styling by Mary Sawyer/Ennis Ahhh…summer. It’s the season where we happily turn our backs on reliable kitchen stoves and head for the backyard grill with tongs, newly-sharpened knives, special rubs, and food piled high, ready for the fire. To celebrate, we rounded up some of the areas top grill chefs and asked them to share their favorite recipes as well as a few tales about their passions for the flame. These recipes are simple and enjoyable to cook. We suggest you don’t panic over a missed teaspoon here or there, or an ingredient you forgot. Enjoy shopping for your food, preparing it for the grill, the actual grilling, and of course, dining on the patio. The Lyceum Chef Hugo Corado loves to grill. His gas grill at home is even equipped with a light so he can grill after dark. “I grill anything. I especially like to grill vegetables that are in season, like zucchini, eggplant, and artichokes. Normally I will marinate them with olive oil and herbs. As for protein, I like to grill everything from steaks to filets of fish. I like to use a light marinade if I do use one because I don’t want to mask the flavor of the food.” 43 Church St., Salem, 978-745- 7665, Mustard-and Herb-Crusted Grilled Veal Chops with Asparagus and Portabello Caps Serves 4 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. chopped rosemary 1 tsp. chopped sage 2 tsp. chopped parsley 1 tsp. chopped thyme 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil 4 12-oz. veal chops 1 small shallot, minced 2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar 8 portobello mushroom caps 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar 11/2 lbs. asparagus Parsley sprigs for garnish In a bowl, mix salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, and mustard. Slowly whisk 1/2 cup olive oil to form paste. Coat both sides of veal chops with paste 30 minustes before grilling. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. In another bowl, mix shallots, 1/2 cup olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Add mushroom caps, turning to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes. Pat dry before grilling. In another bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill to medium. Place chops on grill, cook for 5 minutes per side for medium. Let rest for 5 minutes. Grill asparagus until shiny or semi-soft to the touch, about 4 minutes. Grill portobello caps until soft to the touch, about 6 minutes, then cut into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange chops on a platter. Arrange portobello slices and asparagus on the platter. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve. seafood hobo packPassports “Gas is the fastest, but it imparts the least flavor. You can’t beat a pot belly (charcoal- burning) Weber for 30 bucks,” says chef Eric Lorden. “I like to take firewood and add that to one side of the coals and grill on top of that. The firewood gives a smoky outdoor, back-to-the-caveman kind of flavor. My favorite cut of beef to grill is rib eye because I like fat; with fat comes flavor!” When it comes to seafood, he is more inclined to cook on gas. “That’s where you don’t want to impart a smoky flavor, say, onto the tuna or scallops.” An obviously avid griller, Lordon says, “Once I find something I really love to grill, I grill it all year round. I don’t care if there is a foot of snow on the ground; I go out with my boots on. Also, I hate to clean, and the great thing about a grill is that you can let it all burn off.” His favorite rub is called Montreal Spicy. “I use that and commercial barbeque sauces to enhance things.” 110 Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-3680. Local Catch Hobo Packs Serves 4 2 lbs. striped bass, bluefish, scallops, or flounder 2 cups of any fresh garden salsa or good supermarket brand 12 oz. shredded Mexican blend, Monterey jack, or mozzarella cheese 4 aluminum foil sheets, approximately 12 in. x 12 in. Preheat grill to medium high. Place foil sheets side by side on work surface. Place 1/2 lb. fish or scallops on each sheet. Top generously with salsa and sprinkle with cheese. Fold sides up to seal. Place packs on hot grill and cover. Cook 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Also try serving with no-shuck corn (soak corn with husks on for 30 minutes, drain for 15 minutes, grill on medium for 10 minutes) and potato salad. Franklin Cafe “I think grilling brings out the best qualities of foods,” says Chef Brendan Pelley, who likes to cook over charcoal. “It’s more organic, and you have more control over the heat. When he wants to add a particular flavor to his foods, he will add a specific wood to the fire. “Grilling with wood is its own animal; it definitely imparts more flavor.” 118 Main nsjj09_grillingfeat_011Street, Gloucester, 978-283-7888, Grilled Lobster with Lemongrass Ginger Butter Serves 2 1 tsp. minced lemongrass 1 tsp. minced ginger 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced 2 tsp. grape seed oil, plus some for garnish 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, softened but not melted 2 1 1/4-lbs. live lobsters Cilantro sprigs for garnish Sliced scallions for garnish Discard outer leaves and woody stem of lemongrass stalk before mincing. Heat grape seed oil in small skillet and saute lemongrass, ginger, and garlic until softened. Cool slightly, then mix with butter. Roll butter into a cylinder with wax paper, wrap in plastic wrap and chill. Using the side burner or the top of the grill, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add lobsters, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from water and split lobsters lengthwise with a sturdy kitchen knife or cleaver. Crack the claw and knuckles open with the back of your knife. Remove any innards that you do not like. Sprinkle additional grape seed oil on the flesh side and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill shell side down until lobster is barely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Place a few slices of chilled butter mixture on the tails and bodies. Garnish with fresh sprigs of cilantro and sliced scallions. Serve with white wine. Grilled Jamaican Jerk Rubbed Boneless Pork Chop withPineapple Coconut Rum SalsaCygnet Chef Robert Sabatella believes “grilling is a healthier way to cook because you use less oil in the preparation.” When he grills at home (on his gas grill) he sometimes uses an Australian rub. “It’s called a pepper-berry rub, and I like to put that on chicken.” For marinades with fish or chicken, he likes to keep it simple. “I use garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.” Sabatella likes the same mixture for brushing onto vegetables before they hit the grill. 24 West Street, Beverly Farms, 978-922-922, Grilled Jamaican Jerk Rubbed Boneless Pork Chop withPineapple Coconut Rum Salsa Serves 4 1 medium pineapple (about 6 cups), peeled and 1/4-inch diced 3/4 cup red pepper, 1/4-inch diced 3/4 cup red onion, 1/4-inch diced 1 garlic clove, minced 3/4 tbsp. chopped cilantro 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar 2 tbsp. honey 1/3 cup coconut rum 2 tbsp. tablespoon minced jalapeño 4 10- to 12-ounce boneless pork chops Olive oil as needed Jamaican Jerk seasoning to taste 2 cups mixed greens Combine pineapple, red pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, honey, rum, and jalapeño. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Preheat grill to medium-high. Rub pork with olive oil and Jamaican Jerk seasoning on both sides. Grill for 8 minutes per side. Plate mixed greens on a platter, place grilled pork over greens, and top Pineapple Coconut Rum Salsa. Grilled Statler Breast of ChickenTryst Asked whether he likes to grill with gas or charcoal, Chef Peter Capalbo is quick to confirm: it’s charcoal. “Charcoal gives you better heat, better distribution of temperatures.” 282A Cabot Street, Beverly, 978-921-2266. Grilled Statler Breast of Chicken with Grilled Potatoes and Asparagus Serves 4 2 large Yukon gold potatoes 2 bunches of asparagus 2 large Vidalia onions (1-inch slices) 2 large tomatoes (1-inch slices) 1 bunch fresh cilantro 4 limes, squeezed 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 chipotle pepper 1 tsp. adobo sauce (Filipino seasoning made of chilies, herbs, and vinegar. Available at many supermarkets) 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, half for grilling and half for the sauce 4 10-oz. statler cuts of chicken (that’s a boneless breast with drumette attached) The day before, boil potatoes until fork tender; cool, cut into 1-inch slices and boil asparagus for 1 minute in small batches then cool. The day of the cookout, preheat the grill to medium. Brush the tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and asparagus with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill until all are tender and golden brow then remove. Place the onions, tomatoes, cumin, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil in blender and mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a serving bowl, then brush chicken with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill to perfection and serve.. Wild Horse Cafe Chef Brendon Crocker tells us, “For the most part I’ll cook anything on the grill,” but his favorite is wild striped bass. “I like it because it’s the steak of fish; it’s the perfect fish-meaty, sweet, not oily, and the texture will hold up on the grill. I’ve even eaten the eyeballs… and bass cheeks are just delicious; like candy!” 392 Cabot St, Beverly, 978-922- 6868, Whole Grilled Whole Grilled Bass with Skillet Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus Serves 8 to 10 2 bunches asparagus 3 lbs. red potatoes sliced in 1/2-inch chunks and kept in cold water 1 large onion, peeled and sliced 1 large sprig fresh thyme 2 cups extra virgin olive oil 1 whole striped bass, 6 to 8 lbs. cleaned with gills and scales removed Additional olive oil as needed Kosher salt Fresh cracked black pepper Trim asparagus and place in 6 quarts boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and place in ice water to cool. Pat dry, brush with olive oil and set aside. Place a large skillet on the stovetop set to high. Add 2 cups olive oil and let it get hot. Add potatoes and onions and cook about 7 minutes, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Add herbs, salt, and pepper, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook about 45 minutes, until golden brown on the edges and tender in the center.Preheat grill to medium. Use sharp knife to score skin of fish in a crisscross pattern. Season liberally, inside and out with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Place fish on grill and sear one side until nicely charred, about 20 minutes. Flip the fish gently. The fish is done when you can easily pull meat from the ribs and spine. Clean grill and place asparagus on it to reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with olive oil and lemon wedges.